Dietary and nutritional patterns in an elderly rural population in Northern and Southern Italy: (II). Nutritional profiles associated with food behaviours

M. L. Corrêa Leite, A. Nicolosi, S. Cristina, W. A. Hauser, P. Pugliese, G. Nappi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To describe the nutritional profiles of the food consumption patterns identified in an elderly Italian rural population. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Population-based study. Subjects: A total of 847 men and 1465 women aged 65 y or older, resident in rural areas in the province of Pavia (Northern Italy) and near Cosenza (Southern Italy) in 1992-1993. Interventions: A cluster analysis segregated the subjects into six groups for men and seven for women on the basis of similarities in their food intake (see companion paper). The mean daily energy, macronutrient, mineral and vitamin intakes were calculated for the sample as a whole and for each cluster, and then compared with the age- and gender-specific recommended daily allowances for the Italian population. Results: The largest cluster ('small eaters', which included about half of the population) had an insufficient intake of essential fatty acids, calcium, potassium, zinc (men), iron (women), thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, β-carotene, and vitamins A, D and E. The most noticeable characteristics of some of the other clusters were a high intake of fats, a high proportion of total energy provided by sugars, a high intake of vitamin C, folic acid and β-carotene, and a high alcohol consumption. Furthermore, sodium intake was too high in all of the clusters and vitamin D intake was generally inadequate. Conclusions: The dietary habits of elderly Italians living in rural areas combine elements of the Mediterranean and 'wealthy' diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1522-1529
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Volume57
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

Keywords

  • Cluster analysis
  • Diet
  • Elderly
  • Energy intake
  • Micronutrients
  • Nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

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